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'No Doctoring' of the pitch at the Oval

oitoitoi

State Vice-Captain
I take it there is no further news from the Oval curator on the type of pitch being developed then? A high scoring game would indeed be a real damp squib, especially if the Aussies win the toss. They could get 600 or so and then its bye bye ashes. If the England captain can ask for a type of pitch then he should certainly do so but knowing Strauss (who I really don't rate as a captain) then he won't.
Indeed, can't see Strauss asking for a type of pitch, and anyway who's ever heard of a batsman asking for a greentop?
 

Debris

International 12th Man
A groundsman should always be aiming to prepare a pitch which gives a result, ideally around tea-time on day 5. This is, of course, a lot harder to do than it sounds.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
Did anyone else hear Alec Stewart on the radio the other day? He said he'd only ever once asked for a particular pitch in his tennancy as captain and England lost by over an innings to Sri Lanka with Murali taking 14 wickets. If he asked for a dry turner against a team with Murali in it then that's just idiotic and he deserved what he got!
That pitch wasn't a dry turner at all - it was as flat as any wicket you could wish to see, and not surprisingly it reduced every bowler other than Murali to rubble. Murali has an ability to succeed on just about anything, and that game was the ultimate demonstration of said fact.

He took 16 wickets, not 14, BTW.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
England don't want a green seamer. Siddle and Johnson are much more effective off the pitch than Jimmy and Onions. I'd make a pitch fast enough to ensure that every edge carries then hopefully get the ball to swing one way or another (if it doesn't go orthodox it'll probably reverse).
Yeah, that's the thing. It's far from easy to prepare a guaranteed-result deck without said deck favouring the Australians. England's best chance is swing, and that depends completely on the ball, not the pitch.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
Quality swing bowlers will swing a good-quality ball in the right condition regardless of atmospheric conditions, but yes, nice overcast skies are helpful.
 

oitoitoi

State Vice-Captain
no timeless tests were universally regarded as awful, the teams batted incredibly defensively and it was awful viewing
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
no timeless tests were universally regarded as awful, the teams batted incredibly defensively and it was awful viewing
When the game was the last of a series with said series still at stake (which was UIMM the only occasions they were ever used in England), IMO they very much had their merits. Nonetheless, clearly they're untenable in the current climate, and in any case it's arguable that it's a little unfair to the leading side to take the draw out of the equation in the final match having not done so previously. When the series is level, however, there's a considerable case indeed for it.

BTW I haven't checked but I'm guessing the last timeless Test at The Oval was 1938?
 

fredfertang

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Yes - there was a proposal in the 60's to bring in a rule that the last Test of a series should be six days if the series were level going in to it, but it never happened
 

GIMH

Norwood's on Fire
I wouldn't have been in favour of that rule four years ago, though mind you, in the end 3-1 would have looked much nicer
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
As for the meaining of "doctored", plainly the original poster used the word in terms of preparation of a deck to suit one team. What exactly is wrong with that usage is beyond me.
It's a deliberately emotive term which implies illegitimacy. Which is why I say its real meaning is illegal alterations to the pitch during the course of the match. That is illegitimate. Deliberately preparing a pitch to enhance the chances of the home side as much as possible is not.
 

Lillian Thomson

International Coach
Yes - there was a proposal in the 60's to bring in a rule that the last Test of a series should be six days if the series were level going in to it, but it never happened
That rule did come in briefly in the early 70's if a series wasn't decided going into the final test. In fact it was the only reason Australia were able to draw the series in 1972.
 

Lillian Thomson

International Coach
He certainly can't be accused of doctoring the pitch. In fact it doesn't appear as though any preparation went into it at all.
 

Top_Cat

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He certainly can't be accused of doctoring the pitch. In fact it doesn't appear as though any preparation went into it at all.
They're blaming the weather, I believe. Mike Holding said in '76, when he took 14 wickets, that the summer was hotter yet the pitch was flatter than flat (other tidbits I've read from the other bowlers in the match confirm they were stunned with the zip Holding was getting).

Looks like the curator started the cutting/rolling part a bit too early and the hot weather dried it out more than he anticipated. There's not much in the way of seam on it from all indications but dry enough for the ball to really grip and cut/turn.
 

Lillian Thomson

International Coach
They're blaming the weather, I believe. Mike Holding said in '76, when he took 14 wickets, that the summer was hotter yet the pitch was flatter than flat (other tidbits I've read from the other bowlers in the match confirm they were stunned with the zip Holding was getting).

Looks like the curator started the cutting/rolling part a bit too early and the hot weather dried it out more than he anticipated. There's not much in the way of seam on it from all indications but dry enough for the ball to really grip and cut/turn.
The 1976 wicket was as flat as a pancake and it was only Holding's extreme pace that gave him success, the ball did nothing off the pitch for any type of bowler.

The current pitch is a disgrace. There hasn't been any unexpectedly hot weather since June. He clearly prepared it early in the hope of it deteriorating sufficiently to get a result on days 4 and 5. Instead the pitch lasted two sessions before the ball started taking chunks out of the surface on pitching. A result wicket is one thing, a result decided by the toss of a coin is no use to anyone (except gloating England fans at some stage tomorrow).
Alec Stewart said on Sky Sports News that the groundsman should get a Knighthood.
 

Midwinter

International 12th Man
No point complaining about the pitch.

After the fourth test even the radio commentators said the Oval pitch will be a dustbowl in order to favour England.

Can't any of the Australians look at a pitch and have an idea what it might be like ?

Perhaps they should listen to the radio ?
 

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